As the Second Vatican Council taught, the Holy Eucharist is the 'source and summit' of the life and mission of the Church. Accordingly, we strive to place the Holy Eucharist ever more at the center of the life of our school. The sacramental life of St. Joseph High School includes the following:
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated each day at 8:30 a.m. in the Alumni Chapel, during the school day, so that our students may attend. Typically, at least one teacher signs up his or her class of nearly 30 students for Mass on any given day. Students serve as lectors Mass, and the homily is geared toward what the students are learning in class. Mass is occasionally celebrated in one of the languages taught in our World Language program. Prior to Mass each day, students and faculty members have the opportunity to mention any particular intentions they would like to be remembered at the altar. Daily Mass is open to all.
School-wide Masses are celebrated periodically throughout the year. There is a Mass of the Holy Spirit at the outset of the school year, as well as Mass for the Solemnity of All Saints, the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph’s Day, and the Ascension of the Lord. There is also an all-school Mass during Catholic Schools Week in January, as well as an annual Mass and pastoral visit by the Most Reverend William E. Lori, the Bishop of Bridgeport.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available to our students every Tuesday afternoon, from 2:00 to 2:45, in the Alumni Chapel. Additionally, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is made available to our entire student body once a semester. During school-wide Reconciliation, many guest priests from local parishes assist in hearing the confessions of the hundreds and hundreds of students who take advantage of this unique opportunity to receive the Lord’s pardon and peace.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also available to our students on a regular basis, affording a much-needed opportunity for silence and for contemplative prayer in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who is truly present – body, blood, soul, and divinity – in the Most Holy Eucharist.
The Holy Rosary is often prayed by class groups, especially in October and May.
The Stations of the Cross, a devotion often prayed during Lent, but suitable for any time of the year, is also popular with our students. A special multimedia prayer service of Stations of the Cross and Eucharistic Adoration is held during Holy Week.
The Freshman and Transfer Student Bible Mass is the first major liturgical event in the lives of the incoming freshmen each year. Each new student at St. Joseph High School is presented with his or her own copy of the Holy Bible at this special Mass. By tradition, each student’s name is called individually three times during his or her years with us: at Commencement, at the Junior Ring Mass, and, for this first time, at this Mass, early in freshman year.
The Junior Ring Mass is celebrated each autumn, when our third-year students are inaugurated as upperclassmen. They receive their St. Joseph High School rings in the context of the beauty of the Church’s Sacred Liturgy in one of our local parish churches.
The Baccalaureate Mass is celebrated just a few days before Commencement. A Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving is offered, at which the graduating seniors give thanks to God for the blessings of the past four years, and ask His continued protection as they move on to become alumni of St. Joseph High School.
Ongoing discernment of each student’s God-given vocation in life is actively encouraged at St. Joseph High School, as each student prayerfully considers whether Christ is calling them to serve Him in marriage and family life, in the priesthood, or in the consecrated life. Five alumni of St. Joseph High School are currently in priestly formation for the Diocese of Bridgeport.